You know the formula, classic Walt Disney. Some cute and cuddly lead character, attacked by a black evil character, scare the little kids for a while, there's a big fight, and the cute and cuddly lead character wins. If you love the Disney formula, this film is a total winner. Hate that formula, and well you just won't enjoy this film.
Animation has certainly made a ton of progress in the past few years. This movie is no exception. Where the Incredibles (The Incredibles (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)) were more cartoon, primary colors, Bolt is more cartoon-realistic, with primary colors and shading. The feel of the two films is pretty similar.
So the scary part for little kids, there's a ton of subwoofer activity (very loud booms) in the first few minutes. Most of it is a big surprise. In fact my 13 year old son dropped his root beer bottle during one very surprising scene a bit later on. There's a lot of shooting, killing, chasing, implausible action during the first 30 minutes. Ah, just warning sensitive parents.
Overall, the story is cute. The dog, Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), thinks he is a superhero dog with superhero powers. Bolt stays on set all the time. Somehow the production people of this television program have decided a dog knows about his setting and will fall out of character if he finds out he doesn't really have super powers (very very odd premise, if you think too hard about it). Two cats taunt Bolt, and make him believe Penny is in trouble. Bolt escapes the set, accidently gets packed in a box with styrofoam peanuts, and gets shipped to New York. There the road movie starts up when Bolt meets an alley cat. The movie is mostly a road movie, how does Bolt get back to LA.
There's some good funny moments - the three different sets of three pigeons are hilarious. The Quentin Tarratino parody at the beginning is just too funny (although it's probably very close to the bone in reality). Bolt is very likeable, Travolta does a great job. The hamster is pretty darn funny. Miley - ah, not so great (and it's not just because I'm not a huge Miley fan - overexposure), her voice just wasn't that wonderful.
Closing credit song - Travolta FANS - John and Miley sing a duet for the closing credits. I'll have to admit, he's gotten some singing lessons since his last singing in a movie (Love Song For Bobby Long - super great movie, A Love Song for Bobby Long, not for kids at all). John was a blues singer in that film, in Bolt he's a straight ballad singer with a pretty decent voice.
The DVD is pretty sparse, with one great exception. There is an awesome funny bonus feature about Rhino the hamster. Oh it's so worth watching. The rest is trailers. Again Disney does it's ridiculous Fast Start nonsense at first insertion of the disc (when will they ever realize the stupidity of that "feature.")
Overall - darn good movie. Not a great one (I liked Incredibles more). But, it's really good entertainment for a Saturday afternoon. You also know if your child will be too scared with that opening montage.
Within the past few years, Disney movies that don't have Pixar attached typically tend to be forgettable. Meet the Robinsons was funny but so random and jumbled that telling anyone just what the movie was about was a pain. So when Bolt came out without Pixar to it (and having to follow the absurdly over the top Meet the Robinsons) it was easy to be a little skeptical. Without Pixar (or Johnny Depp) it doesn't seem that Disney does so great on their own. Yet for what it's … more
Welcome back Disney. Far too long have you been in Pixar's shadows. The last big hit you had was with "Lilo & Stitch," a movie that stood out in a sea of duds and lessor attempts, and that was back in 2002. That movie was based off an idea by Chris Sanders, a longtime animator who hit box office gold. Now, after "Home on the Range," "Chicken Little," and several other poor attempts to reclaim your former glory, you have brought us "Bolt," a movie about a dog who run faster then a speeding bullet, … more
Mittens: [to Bolt] The real world hurts, doesn't it? Short Attention Span Summary (SASS): 1. Bolt (John Travolta) is a pup with super strength, laser vision, and all the other good stuff that comes with the portfolio of "superhero" 2. That is, once he's on the movie set of his hit series 3. He's never been off the movie set 4. He's totally devoted to his owner Penny (the ubiquitous Miley Cyrus) 5. Unforeseen … more
I admit that I really wasn't that excited to see BOLT. An animal road trip movie featuring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus? It really didn't sound that interesting to me. However, I was wrong. BOLT is a much more entertaining and enjoyable movie than I expected and after viewing it I would gladly watch it again. Bolt (John Travolta) is the star of his own tv show with his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus). In the show, Penny's dad is a world-class scientist who is wanted … more
Frankly, I did not know what to expect when I took three grandchildren to see this film immediately after it arrived in Dallas months ago. We saw it at an IMAX theater in 3-D, an experience that reminded me of a time when (at their age) I was startled when Vincent Price began to hit a rubber ball with a wooden paddle at me and others in the audience at the Shore theatre in Chicago. This time around, I was soon unaware of the paper glasses and concentrated on an especially clever plot. Briefly, Bolt … more
Pros: Zesty, exotic, hard, perfect for the movie Cons: Not as gripped as I thought I would be. The Bottom Line: I thought I would be listening to this soundtrack over and over. Sad to say I was wrong. Hans Zimmer with bite. Thats how I would describe this soundtrack. Tyler Bates, the composer, has a bit of Zimmers style, but throws in some spices, plenty of flair, and a lot of violence. You get 300 out of it. I enjoyed … more
Boltis a funny animated film about a dog who thinks he has superpowers. It is also a movie about friendship, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself. Everyone knows that superheroes on television are not real, but super-dog Bolt (John Travolta) is a canine star who has been carefully raised to believe that he really possesses superpowers. Bolt is completely devoted to his human co-star Penny (Miley Cyrus), so when Penny is captured by the evil Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell) in their latest television episode and then Bolt accidentally gets loose in the real world, Bolt sets off on a journey to save her. Bolt is confounded when his super powers are suddenly ineffective, but inspiration strikes and Bolt quickly discovers the mysterious, power-stealing effects of Styrofoam packing peanuts. An encounter with alley cat Mittens (Susie Essman) gives Bolt some eye-opening lessons about being a real dog in the real world, while star-struck, ball-enclosed hamster Rhino (Mark Walton) revels in the opportunity to serve as Bolt's sidekick in the quest to rescue Penny. The trio traverses the United States from waffle house to waffle house on a hysterical quest to find Penny and prove that the relationship between Penny and Bolt is real. In the end, Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino learn that everyone is special in their own way and they discover the true power of believing in oneself and one's friends. Select theaters showed Bolt in Real-D 3-D which features some nice effects, ...